To the rescue
Massillon wins mistake filled
By MIKE KEATING
Independent Sports Writer
Massillon Tigers beat the Mansfield Tygers at their
own game Friday night.
by a superb defensive effort, the Tigers edged the Tygers
17‑14 before an announced crowd 11,276 at Arlin
defense played four good quarters of football, "said Massillon linebacker Tony Graves. "They were a good team."
didn't secure its fifth victory against one loss until cornerback Brian Hill
picked off a Mansfield pass intended for wide receiver Jeff Montgomery near the
Tigers ‑ 40‑yard line with
22.4 seconds left in regulation.
work hard on defense," said Massillon
head coach Rick Shepas. "The. kids are starting
to understand the scheme and they’re doing a better job of executing it.
"Mansfield has a well
balanced offense. To hold them to 14 points is a credit to our defense."
tackle Dan Speicher controling
the middle, Graves and fellow linebackers Brock Hymes
and Andy Alleman filling the gap, and 190‑pound
defensive back Markeys
Scott hitting with the ferocity of a player 60 pounds heavier, the Massillon
defense limited Mansfield to only 46
rushing yards on 25 attempts.
knew we had to stop the run and we knew we had to play four quarters of
defense," Graves said. "We did
the second half, the Tigers also established a running game that helped keep
their defense off the field.
being held to a paltry two rushing yards in 11 carries the first half, Shepas
switched from a one‑back formation to a two‑back
set. Robert Oliver, the starter, was joined by Ricky Johnson in the backfield.
The tandem combined to rush for 128 yards on 22 carries during the final two
Mansfield played a lot of nickel
defense on us, so we decided to go with the two backs," Shepas said.
"Both 'of those backs ran hard.”
a 6‑foot, 211‑pound junior, scored Massillon’s lone second‑half touchdown
on a 2‑yard sweep to the right at the 3:29 mark of the third quarter.
That touchdown capped a nine‑play, 81‑yard drive that was aided by
a costly pass interference penalty against. Mansfield.
facing a third‑and‑14 from its 15, the Tigers fired a quick out. Mansfield was flagged for pass interference, giving Massillon an automatic
first down at the 30.
Zwick and wideout Devon Jordan teamed
up for 16 yards, moving the ball to the 50.
it was back to the running game. Johnson picked up nine yards off right tackle.
Oliver took a handoff from Zwick and raced 25 yards
to the 16.
focusing on the run, Zwick hit tight end A.J. Collins
on a crossing pattern for 14 yards. One play later, Johnson scored.
defense played a strong game, the special teams struggled. The Tigers missed a
short field goal, fumbled away a punt, had a punt blocked and allowed a long kickoff return
following Johnson’s touchdown.
Davis took the ensuing kickoff at the Mansfield
10, cut to the right and found a hole at the 20. He motored down the right side
and was hauled down at the Massillon
Mansfield needed eight plays to
score. The big play of the drive was a 29-yard pass play from Georg Andress to wide receiver
Dane Greer, who made a leaping catch at the Massillon 1. One play later, Andress sneaked over from left guard. Hollister Histed’s conversion kick cut Massillon’s lead to 17-14 with
:43.8 left in the third quarter.
Tigers had a chance to tack on an insurance touchdown late in the game, but
fumbled the ball out of the end zone for a touchback.
interception, however, denied Mansfield
any hope of a dramatic victory.
Massillon’s first touchdown was set
up by its defense. Alleman intercepted a pass at the Mansfield 42 and returned
the ball six yards before he was brought down.
on a short field, the Tigers put together a six-play, 36-yard drive. Zwick and Jordan teamed up on a curl route for 15 yards,
moving the ball to the 20.
Mansfield held Massillon
to five yards on two plays before Zwick hooked up
with Stephon Ashcraft for nine yards and a first
one of the few successful first-half running plays, Oliver swept the right side
and scored. Abdul’s extra point made it 7-0 at the 6:35 mark of the first
Tigers made it 10-0 when Abdul booted a 54-yard field goal at the 2:59 mark of
the first quarter, a kick that cleared the uprights at the west end of the
field by five yards.
Massillon then fumbled away a punt at
its own 43 late in the first quarter. On Mansfield’s first play following the
turnover. Andress hit Montgomery
on a deep post at the Massillon
10 and the wide receiver broke free for a touchdown.
Mansfield had a chance to tie the
game late in the first half. Mike Donaldson, a 6-6, 320-pound tackle, gave the Tygers the ball at the Massillon 45 by blocking a punt. The Tigers
tried to quick kick on third down, but the strategy backfired.
the Tygers were stalled at the Massillon 29, they tried a 46-yard field
goal. The attempt sailed wide to the left and the Tigers held a three-point
lead, one they also had at the end of game.
First downs rushing 6 6
First downs passing 13 5
First downs by penalty 2 0
TOTAL first down 21 11
Net yards rushing 124 46
Net yards passing 231 157
TOTAL yards 355 203
Passes attempted 37 29
Passes completed 24 14
Passes intercepted 0 2
Punts 6 4
Punting average 32 25.8
Fumbles/Lost 3/2 0/0
Penalties 7 4
Yards penalized 60 50
MASSILLON 10 0 7 0 17
MANSFIELD 7 0 7 0 14
– Robert Oliver 6 run (Abdul kick)
‑ David Abdul 54-yard field goal
– Monigomery 43 pass from Andres (Histed
- Ricky Johnson 2 run (Abdul kick)
– Andress 1 run (Histed
Massillon rushing: Oliver 20-98, Johnson 9-47.
Mansfield rushing: Phillips 7-22, Perdue 7-12.
Massillon passing: Zwick
Mansfield passing: Andress
14-29-157 1 TD, 2 INT.
Massillon Receiving: Jordan 11-106, Collins
4-52, Williams 4-32, Oliver 1-19.
Mansfield Receiving: Montgomery 6-78, Davis